EdUHK Jockey Club School Transition and Readiness Project: Celebrity Parents to Host Video Series on Executive Functioning
While students always face different challenges when proceeding to primary schooling, the current cohort of primary one students has had extra difficulties arising from the prolonged suspension of face-to-face learning during the pandemic. The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), through a donation of HK$34 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, has launched a two-year initiative called the ‘EdUHK Jockey Club School Transition and Readiness Project’. It entails designing a series of learning and executive functioning games with videos, featuring celebrity parents Sammy Leung and Chu Fun. The videos have been produced by the Department of Early Childhood Education (ECE). They provide detailed explanations of the games, and will be available for parents and students for free.
Executive functioning skills have a crucial relationship with children's growth and learning. The project team has developed four sets of relevant card games, each of which has different levels of difficulty for students and parents. In the videos, which have been uploaded onto the Project’s YouTube channel, Sammy Leung and Chu Fun play the games with primary one children and introduce the rules to them. Parents and teachers of children in primary one or other age groups can also use the videos and create their own materials to help train children’s executive functioning skills at home and at school.
The Project also provides, through primary schools, three sets of evidence-based EdUHK Jockey Club STARt-up Resource Kits for free to all primary one students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students have experienced multiple class suspensions, which have affected their learning. The Project provides timely resources to help students continue their learning at home, and promotes better parent-child relationships through various activities. The first resource kit, themed ‘Understanding Daily Routines and Self-Regulation Techniques’, was launched last November and has received enthusiastic responses. The second resource kit has been developed under the theme of ‘Learning and Executive Functioning Skills’, and focuses on the development of ‘soft skills’ in students’ education. These include Learning Skills (creativity, curiosity, initiative, problem-solving and perseverance), and Executive Functioning Skills (working memory, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility). The project team has also produced a series of video stories which complements the kaleidoscope and activity booklet in the resource kit, in order to support students’ development of various learning skills in their daily lives.
Dr Eva Lau Yi-hung, Associate Professor of the Department of ECE and the Project’s director, said, “Research studies indicate that soft skills related to learning and executive functioning skills can increase children’s interest in and commitment to their studies. This in turn enhances their learning effectiveness and supports their ability to overcome challenges. These are the key foundations to the success of their future development.”
The ‘EdUHK Jockey Club School Transition and Readiness Project’ was launched in 2021/22 to provide comprehensive support to students, parents, and teachers in facilitating students adaptation to primary school. The whole project will benefit 100,000 primary one families and nearly 200 school teachers who provide support to primary school transition. It also aims to support primary one students’ development of core learning skills, and to enhance their long-term academic performance, whilst strengthening the bond between parents and children.
A series of public seminars on enhancing children’s learning skills will be held in March and April to introduce the content of the Project’s Resource Kits, a series of executive functioning games designed for kindergarten and lower primary students, and ways to promote young children’s socioemotional well-being. Those interested in attending can fill in the online registration form for seminars in March and in April.
Schools interested in receiving the resource kits may register online or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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